Think like a chef… Part 1

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You don’t have to be a short-order cook to create meals in a hurry, but we can all learn some culinary wisdom from those who can prepare hundreds of meals in a single day. Follow these short-order steps to make healthy meals easy.

Tip 1: Relax, put on some music and pour yourself a cup of tea. A composed cook is a more efficient one.

Tip 2: Read the recipe through ahead of time so you know everything that’s going to happen. Take a minute to imagine doing the steps.

Tip 3: Lay out your prepared ingredients in bowls. Having everything at your fingertips means the dish will come together faster. Cutting an onion before you start to cook is actually a time-saver; cutting it after the cooking has already begun wastes time—you have to take the skillet off the heat, then heat it back up when you’re done chopping. That being said, remember that quick cooking is about getting maximal results in minimal time. So, for instance, if a recipe calls for cooking an ingredient first, make use of that cooking time to get other prep work done.

Tip 4: Room-temperature vegetables cook faster than cold ones. While we don’t advocate letting meat, poultry, fish or dairy sit out, we do let our vegetables come to room-temperature so they will sear quickly, cook evenly and blend more readily with other ingredients.

Tip 5: Substitute carefully. Although some substitutions seem obvious, they can be tricky business. A ruined dish is a waste of time.

Tip 6: Measure accurately. Nothing wrecks a quick-cooking sauté like a double portion of flour or an overdose of salt.

Join us again in 2 weeks for 6 more tips on how to think like a chef!

Resource: Eating Well

 

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